This came up as a suggestion on Amazon* when I bought ‘Normal’ and my initial thought was that it might be about a girl in a form room – the title being the first thing I think of because of working in a school I assume.
In the past I avoided books written by anyone other than Brits, because I was worried I wouldn’t understand the locations, the language, the inferences, the references and that the constant Americanised spellings would irritate the hell out of me. Since starting my degree, however, I’ve been a little less restrained and will follow my gut: if a story seems compelling then it’s going to be compelling whatever the location or language, right?
So ‘The Girl in 6E’ is about a reclusive sex-webcammer, Deanna (alias Jessica Reilly) who lives in the eponymous apartment, one half of which is her ‘studio’, lavishly decorated in every shade of girlie pink and housing enough sex toys that would have you blushing an even deeper pink; the other half of the space, where ‘real life’ is lived: boxes piled high with enough provisions to see her though the next 6 months and an apocalypse should it occur.
I wasn’t sure I’d ‘get on’ with all the sexual scenes, being such a prudish old thing at times, but the way the webcamming world, its providers and customers, was described simply made me more aware of the professionalism of any occupation – whatever brings in the money. And I feel enlightened.
Deanna isn’t your ‘average’ sex-worker. She hasn’t left her apartment for 3 years and not because she doesn’t like other people – she’s terrified that if she goes out she’ll end up killing one of them. Or many of them; such is her lust for inflicting pain and more importantly, death, on others – a psychotic tendency which she believes to be hereditary (no spoilers here).
The story picks up apace about halfway through – I’m loathe to say it’s a ‘slow-burn’ because that implies it drags for 50% and it doesn’t really – the scene is being set for something terrifying which Deanna feels compelled to consider leaving her apartment for and try to help rectify the awful situation she has unwitngly become drawn into.
There are such flashes of humour and intelligence, sympathy and pragmatism throughout this book that you can’t help but be drawn into Deanna/Jessica’s isolated world and feel like reaching out to give her a well-deserved hug.
In fact it was such a darned good read that I’ve just ordered the sequel ‘Do Not Disturb’ – I find I miss Deanna and that is always the sign of a good story.
8.5/10 – explicit, fast and furious